Logo: Solidarity South Pacific

Papuan boycott + London action

On Monday 5th July twenty people held a demonstration at the Indonesian embassy in London in solidarity with West Papua. We have heard that many West Papuans were refusing to vote in the Indonesian presidential elections and we were demonstrating in support of those boycotting the vote.

As all the expat Indonesians turned up to vote they were confronted with banners reading 'Free West Papua' and 'Solidarity with the OPM'. Many stopped to talk and they were handed leaflets which read:

"SOLIDARITY WITH THE WEST PAPUAN ELECTION BOYCOTT!!

Today West Papuans are boycotting the Indonesian election.

Their lands are ravaged, their peoples destroyed. Why should they participate in choosing their executioner?

Previous refusals to vote have led to massacres. We are here to support their tribal struggle against genocide and ecocide.

If voting changed anything they'd make it illegal, instead in Indonesia it's compulsory.

Resistance to the Election:

Today for the second time in three months West Papuans are showing their contempt for their oppressors by boycotting elections. In April's parliamentary elections the majority of West Papuan's refused to vote, polling stations were burnt and a boat carrying ballot papers was sunk. At the same time solidarity demonstrations took place across Europe, America and Australia. Today there is the same refusal of the presidential elections in West Papua. Faced with death, imprisonment and the destruction of their forests it is no surprise that Papuans resist being forced to vote for the likes of murderous Wiranto and Megawatti.

The Powerful Fear the Fires:

Do not be fooled, elections are but theatre. Behind the scenes it is money and guns that makes politics. What small gains in freedom the Indonesian peoples have today are not gifts of 'Democracy', but of the fear the wealthy feel when they remember the insurrection that brought down Suharto. Today fire burns in the hearts of the tribal warriors of West Papua as it did in those of the Jakarta rioters of 1998.

Local Horrors, Global Struggle:

We are here today because we support West Papuans in struggle against colonialism of both the Indonesian state and multinational corporations. We have been asked to hold this picket top remind both the embassy and expats that the Papuan's resistance continues. We also stand here because it is British companies like RTZ and BP who are financing and benefiting from this genocide. The forests of New Guinea are one of the world's three great wildernesses. In this time of ecological crisis we in the deforested and domesticated West from the tribes and wildness of west Papua.

VICTORY TO THE OPM!